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The threat of the climate emergency is very real – Leanne Fletcher, Regional Sustainability Manager, Sir Robert McAlpine

I was approached by the OneVoice steering group at the start 2021 to assist with the climate aspects of the action plan. Since then, I have been on the steering group, leading on the climate theme and have been involved in the OneVoice summit and subsequent OneVoice events.

I am also vice chair of the CENE climate change theme group, working with peers from across the region’s industry to share ideas, good practice and innovation and to develop the KPIs required to support the North East England Climate Coalition (NEECCo) ambition to become England’s greenest region.

In my day job I am the sustainability lead for the North at Sir Robert McAlpine (SRM), based in the North East and covering the construction business across Scotland and Northern England. I have worked with SRM in an environmental, or sustainability role, for over eight years and, prior to this, I worked for two other main contractors for the previous seven years in environmental roles.

The threat of the climate emergency is very real. If you follow the news and media articles and if you saw my presentation at the OneVoice summit earlier this year, you will know the threat applies to the way of life in the North East as well as nationally and globally. We don’t have time to wait for someone else to take the lead or incentivise us. Our futures, and those of our children, should be incentive enough. We should be doing what needs to be done now and leading by example.

We need to maximise the opportunity within North East England to utilise existing and future talent, innovation across the industry, educators and academics, existing infrastructure and development opportunities, to deliver real, meaningful actions, to decarbonise the built environment, improve ‘green’ skills and, ultimately, reduce the threat of climate change as much as we can.

We need to work collaboratively across the whole industry. The action plan brings together points discussed at the OneVoice+ consultation events, the previous action plan and the NEECCo ambitions, into objectives that everyone can become involved in. Please join us on this journey, pledge your support, challenge the objectives that need to go further and take the appropriate actions relevant to you or your organisation.

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